Sodium Chloride

What is Sodium Chloride, NaCl?

Sodium Chloride is commonly known as salt, which is an ionic compound having the chemical formula (NaCl), representing a 1:1 ratio of chloride and sodium ions. Sodium chloride is a salt that is the most responsible for the salinity of seawater and of the extracellular fluid of various multicellular organisms. It is commonly used as a condiment and food preservative in its edible form of table salt. Certain huge amounts of NaCl are used in numerous industrial processes and are a major source of sodium and chlorine compounds that are used as feedstocks for further chemical syntheses. A second major sodium chloride application is the de-icing of roadways in sub-freezing weather.

About 1% to 5% of the seawater is made of sodium chloride. It is a solid crystalline material with white in colour. It is called a saline solution in aqueous form.

The molecular weight of NaCl is 58.44g/mol.

This is a water-soluble compound with a sodium cation and chloride anion. It is widely well-known as table salt and is used mostly in the food industry for preservation and flavouring purposes. The pH value of NaCl is 7.


Structure of NaCl

The structure of NaCl can be given as,

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Properties of Sodium Chloride

Physical Properties of NaCl

Sodium chloride, a white crystalline solid, contains a density of 2.165 g/mL, the melting point of 801 °C, and the boiling point is about 1,413 °C. It is also available as aqueous solutions with different concentrations, which are known as saline solutions.


Chemical Properties of NaCl

Sodium chloride is a readily soluble compound in water and other polar solvents and is a stable solid. It decomposes only at high temperatures to produce toxic fumes of disodium oxide (Na2O) and hydrochloric acid (HCl).


Uses of Sodium Chloride

On many uses of NaCl, a few of them are listed below.

  • Sodium chloride is well known as table salt and widely used in the food industry for flavoring and preservation. 

  • Also, it is used to produce various essential chemicals, including sodium hydroxide, baking soda, sodium carbonate, hydrochloric acid, and more. It also has applications in the textile industries, oil refineries, paper and pulp industry, fire-retardants, road constructions, and in the rubber industries. 

  • In the soda ash industry, it is used to produce sodium carbonate through the Solvay process

  • Another important use of sodium chloride is the de-icing of roads and sidewalks in snowy and cold regions. These saline solutions are used for various medical purposes as well.

  • The compound is also used in cleaners like shampoo, toothpaste, and even in water softeners.


Usage of Sodium Chloride for a Human Body

Nutrient Transportation and Absorption

Both sodium and chloride play an essential role in our small intestine. Sodium helps your body absorb Sugar, Water, Chloride, and Amino Acids (which are the building blocks of protein).

When chloride is in the form of hydrochloric acid (hydrogen and chloride), it acts as a gastric juice component. And, it helps our body to digest and absorb the nutrients.


Maintaining Resting Energy

Sodium and potassium are the electrolytes in the fluid inside and outside of our body cells. The balance between these two particles contributes to how the cells maintain the energy of the body.

Also, it is how the nerves send signals to the brain, how the muscles contract, and how the heart functions.


Maintaining Hydration and Blood Pressure

The brain, kidneys, and adrenal glands work together to regulate the amount of sodium in the human body. Chemical signals stimulate the kidney to hold on to water so that it can get rid of excess water through the urine or be reabsorbed into the bloodstream.

When there’s too much sodium in our bloodstream, the brain signals the kidneys to release more water into your blood circulation. This leads to an increase in blood volume and blood pressure. Decreasing your sodium intake can lead to less water being absorbed into the bloodstream. The result is lower blood pressure.


Occurrence of Sodium Chloride

Usually, most of the chemical compounds consisting of chlorine or sodium are derived from salts. It is distributed abundantly in nature. Salt is a significant ingredient in seawater dissolved materials.

Pure salt can be obtained from halite minerals. Sodium chloride is created by mining the deposits, and the brine solution is collected by transferring water into the deposits. Therefore, the salts are dissolved, and the solution is pumped out.

Seawater evaporation is one of the main methods to extract salt and is most commonly practiced in countries like India. Usually, the crystals obtained consist of impurities like sodium sulfate, calcium sulfate, and so on. Pure crystals are produced by dissolving salts with little water and filtering the solution.


Preparation of Sodium Chloride

However, sodium and chlorine respond together to generate a familiar substance to nearly everybody across the globe: sodium chloride, common salt, or table salt.

2Na(s) + Cl2(g) → 2NaCl(s)

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How is Sodium Chloride Used Medically?

When the doctor prescribes treatment with salt, they’ll use the term sodium chloride. NaCl is mixed with water and creates a saline solution, which has numerous medical purposes.

It’s necessary to consult a doctor and only use prescribed medical saline products (excluding over-the-counter products such as contact solution). Different types of saline solutions will have different ratios of water to sodium chloride. Saline that’s used for various purposes can also have additional compounds or chemicals added in.

NaCl is a salt that consists of equal amounts of sodium ions and chloride ions with a charge of +1 and -1 respectively.

2. Explain the Difference Between Sodium Chloride in a Molten State and in an Aqueous State?

In an aqueous solution, sodium ions attract negative dipoles of water molecules and surround themselves with a water coating. Similarly, chloride ions attract positive dipoles of water molecules and form a water coating. Ions with their water coatings are drifting around in the water. In this condition, ions may react chemically to any reactive chemical that is introduced to the solution, or if the concentration of sodium chloride is sufficiently increased (for example, by water evaporation), the sodium and chloride ions will be close enough to form salt crystals.

Solid NaCl is a systematic matrix of sodium and chloride ions that remain solid due to a systematic geometric pattern. The ions are vibrating but stay in place. As solid sodium chloride is heated, the added energy causes the ions to vibrate at a higher amplitude. On the melting point, the ions have enough energy to move away from the orderly crystal matrix. The result is the molten sodium chloride in which the ions are free to move about. So, the molten sodium chloride has all the liquid properties.